Russia’s MOEX Index at Highest Levels in Over 12 Months



  • Russia’s benchmark MOEX index is trading at levels not seen in over 12 months.
  • Russia’s stock market is boosted by domestic investors who have few options amid sweeping sanctions.
  • The MOEX Russia Index has gained 24% so far this year after tanking 42% in 2022.

Moscow’s stock market hit its highest level in over a year thanks to the country’s domestic retail investors who have been left with little option about where to invest their money.

The benchmark MOEX Russia Index on the Moscow Exchange hit a high of 2,646.18 on Thursday — its highest level since early April 2022. 

“Money is trapped,” Jacob Grapengiesser, the chief investment officer at East Capital, told the Financial Times on Friday: “Where do you put it but on the exchange?”

The Kremlin has restricted most foreign investors from exiting their investments in Russia and limited the amount of money Russians can keep in foreign bank accounts.

The MOEX Index gained 24% this year — a stunning reversal from 2022 when the index tanked 50%  on February 24, 2022, after Russia invaded Ukraine, wiping out as much as $259 billion in market value. The MOEX Index slumped 42% in 2022.

While the MOEX Index has been choppy in the past year, prices started climbing decisively from mid-March, partly helped by a rise in the US dollar against the ruble — which in turn made ruble-denominated investments more attractive. The dollar has gained 9% against the ruble so far this year.

Despite the surge in the MOEX index, trading volumes in its equities market fell 41% from a year ago amid sanctions. The index is unlikely to touch its all-time high of nearly 4,300 in October 2021 as foreign investors are shut out of the market, Sofya Donets, the chief Russia economist at Renaissance Capital, a Moscow investment bank, told the FT.

Russia’s economy shrank by 2.1% in 2022, according to Rosstat, the country’s official statistics service. However, the country’s economy is likely worse than what Moscow claims because massive spending has masked slowdown in the private sector, a policy economist told Insider’s Phil Rosen in April.

The MOEX Index ended at 2,634.96 on Friday. The exchange is closed for a public holiday on Monday.


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